The environment has arguably the biggest influence on an autistic individual and their ability to participate and succeed. Therefore, it is essential the environment is conducive to an individual’s profile, sensory or otherwise. The autistic community speaks very clearly of how different environments can overwhelm them and prevent their access. It makes sense that autistic children are more likely to succeed in school when the classroom is suited to their sensory profile, as are autistic adults when their workplace is suited to their sensory needs. Spaces that prevent overwhelm by taking account of and making accommodations for sensory uniqueness ensure individuals success.
When considering how to change the environment, the very first step is to ask the autistic individual what helps and what doesn’t. Some may find the hum from fluorescent lighting so loud, or the lighting so bright, that they cannot enter the room. Others, for example, may seek out certain noises or hum continuously for constant input. So, when you ask, you ensure the individual you’re supporting is accommodated and afford them the opportunity to thrive.